College earns ACS historical designation for Pimentel spectrometer

Chemistry professor George Pimentel and his student Ken Herr.

On May 15, the Mars/Mariner infrared spectrometer was officially designated an American Chemical Society National Historic Chemical Landmark.

The honor was bestowed 50 years after the first model of the instrument was assembled at the College of Chemistry by a team led by chemistry professor George Pimentel and his former Ph.D. student Ken Herr. Two identical versions of the Pimentel/Herr spectrometer flew past Mars in late 1969, one on board the Mariner 6 and the other on board the Mariner 7 spacecraft.